justifying genius

I read this article about J.D. Salinger today regarding his malicious relationships with women not even half his age. The article was written by Joyce Maynard, one of the women who claims to have been with Salinger at the tender age of 18.  Here’s the site just in case you too might want to read it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/opinion/sunday/was-salinger-too-pure-for-this-world.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&smid=tw-share

In summary, the article delves deeper into the much private life of the renown author praised for the purity of his works and devil may care attitude towards the literary standards of his day. Maynard exposes his attempts to woo women, still very young and susceptible to suggestion through his genius. She was one of those women, one as easily disposed of as she was welcomed into his home. She concludes with the suggestion that we live in a society where the genius of a man justifies the cruelty and abusive nature of his actions.

DOES THE GENIUS OF A MAN TRULY EXCUSE HIM FROM HIS WRETCHED WAYS?

Rather than blogging solely about Salinger and his relationships, I would much prefer to blog about the idea of ‘saving qualities’– those we often hear as kids when our parents describe some problem child who went off the rails. Do we really live in a world where the good we’ve done justifies the bad we continuously do? If we do, then do we wanna keep living that way?

Looking at pop culture and the stars they cultivate, we can see a lot of wrongs like people dropping clothes here and there, an actress confidently and explicitly seducing a married man on set, doing illegal drugs and convincing their fans to do the same, calling people ugly and stupid or even randomly distributing sex videos. These doesn’t even cover half of it and yet people continuously fall to their feet and would even go to the extent of defending their obvious and gross mistakes, excusing them because they somehow contribute to our entertainment. It’s almost insulting.

I personally don’t think that reprehending a man’s actions makes his ability to write, sing, act or perform well any less great but it makes a society which forgets or ignores all his misgivings because of his amazing talents one that cares very little for true value, one that’s willing to compromise morals for the superficial. That’s not a community I wanna be a part of, neither should you or anyone for that matter.

Look at it this way, we’re treating people like balance sheets. If he’s a great asset we disregard all other assets that might be depreciating because of him. We’re too focused on what he’s giving that we turn blind to what he’s destroying. Life and the values that we learn from it are not plus and minus operations. You can’t erase one with the other so don’t go about life thinking that you’re excused just because you contributed a great deal of pluses to the world especially if those pluses have nothing to do with the hell you’re putting other people through.

This is not exactly a condemnation of Salinger and especially not his works. I will forever be a fan of Catcher and the Rye and will continue to look up to the man for his amazing contribution to literature but if he indeed did what the article chronicles then I am one disappointed lass.

I don’t believe it to be fair for his genius of a mind and his talent for the written word to excuse him from establishing basic moral distinctions and this goes for every other brilliant soul still confused by what they can and cannot do, should and shouldn’t do.  

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just cry

I don’t cry– other than when I watch tragic movies or plays, read engaging endings to books or hear moving music. Even during those times I don’t really cry, not that consuming, vulnerable, open kind of crying. That seldom happens, most my friends say that never happens.

Last summer something awful happened to me, one which I refuse to talk about mostly because I’m embarrassed for the person who caused me so much hurt and pain but also because I honestly don’t know how to put it into words anymore. I feel that my words are so limited to describe how piercing the anger and betrayal I felt, how vivid the images were in my head, how they still haunt me at night.

Crying got me through it. As plain and uninteresting as that may sound, it’s the truth. It really helped me. It was a release that allowed me to recognize that something happened and that it’s okay for me to feel bad about it. I can admit that, as strong and tough as I am, that really got to me. Had I not broken down, I probably will still be in denial. I’ll still be convincing myself none of it ever happened.

So cry… 

crying

If you feel like crying, just let it all out. Worry not about the stigma that comes with tears. This world should be far too busy solving its many problems to pick on you for trying to deal with your own.

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the irony of being alone

ALONE

In my solitude I stood,
unwavering, unmoved.
I no longer feel or fear.
I only stare from afar.
No more crowds of faceless people
no longer a life of deceit.
I am free.
I am alone.
Let me be.

On my bed I lay motionless,
questions unresolved linger in my head.
I may not feel or fear
but I know no happiness yonder.
I no longer hurt
but I too no longer live.
So I am free
but I am alone.
Should I let it be?

by her side (a poem by the 12 year old me)

Disclaimer: Before anyone gets the funny idea that I’ve crossed over to the hopeless romantic, can’t eat, can’t sleep, truly, madly, deeply inlove side, let me crush those hopes with the sad truth that I am still the rational, calculating, priorities first kinda girl who does a little flirting on the side. We all need a little flirting right?. *winks* This poem was from when I was 12. I have no idea who I wrote it for or why because as I remember I discovered the word crush in high school.

I found it extremely amusing though so here goes.

By Her Side (the 12 year old me)

Falling for you makes me wonder,

how everyday your smile makes me fonder,

how I can think of a thousand words to say

but around you I seem to fade away.

I know you like her, I can see.

Don’t worry I’m not asking for sympathy.

I just don’t understand why it still hurts me

knowing that she makes you so happy.

I just hope and pray she’ll love you

the way I’ve always wanted to.

But if she ever makes you cry,

I’ll be by your side to wipe you tears dry.

Love is without guarantees

Love is without guarantees.

They say that love is one of the many endeavors of man which isn’t calculated or rationalized. It’s more than a feeling; it’s an iniative fuelled by human will. Because it isn’t with reason that we love, we cannot justify why we have it or why we’ve lost it. It simply happens and when it does we say that it was never guaranteed to work or last anyway.

But then I ask, “What guarantee are you looking for anyway?”  

The security that he will not find another

A vow that you will live in eternal bliss

A promise that you’ll wake up everyday knowing it will never end

If that is what you believe guarantees in love are then you are right, there are none.

As for me, I find love provides a different guarantee, one which is more personal- more for the self than for the partner or your relationship with him. Love warrants humanity, that moment of absolute vulnerability you are willing to take to be with another. It assures you of an experience that transforms you or at the very least, reveals to you your deeper, more unguarded self.

When you are in the a happier stages of a relationship, one depicted in romcoms and chick flicks, you realize you can be happy and that you deserve it. Even when you lose him, you continue to find happiness for yourself because you’ve discovered how uplifting and empowering it is.

In the darker pre and post break up stages, you feel pain and learn to deal with it. It does not matter how, through beer, parties, writing, painting, eating or ranting, as long as you acquire that resilience we all need to get ahead in life.

You’ve won, not that it ever was a competition.

Love may not last. It may not be entirely of bliss or with one guy but it comes with a guarantee. You will learn and you will grow and you will have at least loved. Isn’t that takeaway enough?

on HATE

Hate and all its cruel manifestations are products of different circumstances in our lives. We cannot say that they are all the same or that they all come in the same degree or last for the same lengths of time but what we know is that when we feel it, it can be very destructive.

A year ago I was told of a secret that shattered my belief in relationships and my recently restored trust in people. I know that sounds melodramatic and depressing but if I did not feel those at that time I’d be worried where my emotions went or if I even have them.

Bear with me as I cannot discuss further the specifics of that event, both for your benefit and mine. I have accepted it but I’m not proud of it. The bottom line is this, she lied. She betrayed me for the longest time and all she could muster after that is a sorry-not even a heartfelt one. I played the rational card and stayed strong. Trust me, there was no bitch fight- not even yelling.

I HATED HER, in my heart I knew that but I never really admitted it until recently because I wanted to save the relationship. I thought by not confronting my feelings they will fade away. Soon I’ll forget I even felt them. But the more I denied them, the stronger they grew. It’s like trying to stop flood. No matter how many bolts the doors have, water will still seep through.

THE BEST WAY TO COPE IS TO ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL IT.

Do not punish yourself for feeling that way. Chances are you have every right to feel the way you feel but even if you don’t, castigating yourself because of how you feel towards someone will only encourage you to resent the person more.

When you feel that overpowering, enveloping need to hold on to the awful things a person did, recognize it. Understand it. In time you’ll learn to overcome it. Remind yourself that even the flood recedes after the rain

what I really meant

When I said I wanted to watch shooting stars race to fall,

I meant I hope I could wish on one so I could have you.

When I said I’d be adventurous enough to try bungee jumping,

I meant I won’t be scared if I’d do it with you.

When I asked you to drive around with me for hours,

I meant I really wanna spend time with you, just you.

When I told you my favorite song,

I meant I wish you’d sing it for me.

When I shared how embarrassing it would be to dance in front of a crowd,

I meant dance with me and I won’t even notice them.

When I opened up to you,

I meant I trust you. Please trust me too.

When I whispered to you that I’ve been hurt a lot.

I meant I hope you won’t.

dance